Inside Me But Not From Me
“Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always” —1 Chronicles 16:11, NIV
The Book of Psalms is perhaps the best-known and best-loved literature read by believers. But not all of David’s psalms—a considerable contribution to the book—are found in it. Here in Chronicles we find a wonderful psalm of praise that David wrote on the occasion of the return of the ark to its rightful home in Jerusalem.
The whole psalm, all twenty-eight verses, is filled with admirable material that needs thinking about. But to today has been assigned this small fragment of David’s magnificent, God-inspired, poem.
The verse directs us to look to the Lord when we so often look elsewhere. Our minds and hearts are so often captured by other things and other people. We look to ourselves. We dig deep within to find our inner strength, considerable at times, to deal with whatever challenges we are living through at the moment. We vaguely claim that this inner strength is God-given, as it is, but privately exult in the fact that it comes from within us. Too soon we forget that we are only the container. A container, as elegant as it might be, is still only a container. The value is in what is in the container.
The strength is God's, and David incites us to acknowledge that fact.
The psalmist tells us to be diligent and constant in our pursuit of the Lord. “Pursuit” is perhaps the wrong word because it implies that we have to chase God down as though he were trying to escape us.
Jeremiah says that if we seek him with all our heart, he will be found (Jeremiah 29:13, 14). It’s not our effort, but our will that comes into play here. “Always” is a big word. It means that in every detail of life God is sought to dictate, provide, counsel, and lead. He’s not the rubber stamp on what has already been decided, but the starting point in making those decisions.
There is a certain freedom in acknowledging that “I can’t” at the beginning of each day. But only when we let go in order to pass that day into the hands of the One who CAN.
When we look and seek in the right place, like Abraham, we can go into the unknown with confidence. We can face the possibilities in the impossible without any doubts. We can hold on lightly to what God gives knowing that whether he gives, or takes, it’s all part of his perfect plan for us.